In the instant appeal the citizen has requested the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgitbaltistan to provide certified copy of the general under the orders of Government of Pakistan, works and Rehabilitation Division, Islamabad vide their letter No. F2(i)/74-JK dated 17.4.1974 to the address of all the claims Commissioners in Pakistan.
The Respondent in letter vide No. 5/1/2019-RRO dated 15th February, 2021 stated that “… on persual of the news papers notice is clear that at that time the J&K RRO have fixed last dated for re-addressing of their claimes, therefore the requested document letter No. F.2(1)/74-JK dated 17-4-1974 has lost its value.”
This Commission observes that even if the matter is decided still the citizen has the right to avail the public documents/record from any public body to check whether the matter is decided on the merit or not. Moreover, the public bodies are bound to keep such record safe as the Secretariat Instruction 2004 and provide to the citizen on their request.
This Commission also maintain that the mere stating the record is not traceable is not a justification, According to Section 4 (1) of the principal officer of each public body shall ensure that the record held by that body is properly maintained, so as to enable it to comply with its obligation under this Act.
Deputy Secretary (K&GB) / Public Information Officer, Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan is directed to provide complete requested information to the Appellant, at the earliest but not later than 7 working days of the receipt of this Order, with intimation to this office.
The Respondent is also directed to conduct enquiry to determine the responsibility for the misplacement of the requested records and submit compliance report to the commission within one month of the receipt of this Order.